The Pros and Cons of Online Tuition

by Sara

Many articles have been written about the disadvantages of online tuition. Parents and students have a natural tendency to assume that online tuition can hardly match face to face tuition. Our experience reveals that much depends on what subject is being taught, the age of the student and if the student has good organisational skills and self discipline. Below are a few pros and cons that we at First Tutors think are important points to consider before deciding if online tuition is the most suitable option.


  • Online tuition can be the perfect solution for older students who are comfortable with computer technology and virtual environments.
  • Online tuition is convenient, it can save time, travel expenses and in some instances can be slightly cheaper than face to face tuition.
  • Online tuition has been working successfully since 1998 with The Open University.
  • Computer software permits users to record, save and access information at a later date. The whole lesson could even be recorded and kept on file.
  • Students using digital pens can allow the tutor to see what is being written in real time.
  • Parents feel calm knowing their child is safe at home, they can even monitor the quality of online lessons.


  • Online tuition can't substitute human interaction and observance of facial expressions in the same way as face to face tuition.
  • Some complex subjects are more difficult to explain online. When teaching a young child how to multiply, subtract or similar, the tutor can't physically show the child with actions what they are trying to explain.
  • Students will need to acquire new technical skills to handle frozen computer screens or server downtime - this can cause added frustration.
  • If the student becomes frustrated or upset over a certain task, it's not easy for the tutor to console the student without being physically present. (again lack of personal interaction)

Online tuition is on the increase but First Tutors have noticed that the majority of requests for online tuition come from older students - from the age of 16 and upwards. This does not mean that younger children cannot successfully engage with a private online tutor but we do think that parental assistance and guidance could be necessary to help the child overcome any possible technical issues. If you and your child are tech-savvy then why not try it out!

First Tutors is primarily focused towards face to face tuition although online tuition is available from our registered tutors who have already received positive feedback from providing face to face tuition. This provides a certain peace of mind for parents and students approaching a stranger online for the first time.

If you live in a remote area where transport is a problem, online tuition could prove to be a good alternative.